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As if last week’s NXT wasn’t enough of a dream for wrestling fans, as Ricochet successfully defended his North American Championship against Adam Cole and Pete Dunne in a twenty-minute barnburner, this week’s show goes all in on the in-ring action. It’s the rare 4-match week, including a double main event where the NXT Tag Team Championships are on the line. This is a massive week, so we’ve got no time to waste. Let’s get to it.
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NXT gets right to the action, kicking off the show with the bout for the NXT Tag Team Championships. War Raiders, having stormed the gates of the tag team division and found themselves with a huge opportunity to take down Undisputed Era’s Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly, make their way to the ring with a purpose. The headbanging Vikings clearly mean business, but Strong and O’Reilly don’t look fazed. In fact, as usual, they look cocky and confident. And hey, why wouldn’t they? They’ve got the gold around their waists. Still, a “combined weight of 590 pounds” is a scary stat to be standing across from.
The story of the match is obvious from the start: While Undisputed try to land a number of strikes, ground their opponents, and keep them from tagging, War Raiders continue to fire back with pure power. They break out of every hold and double team, leaving Undisputed reeling, unsure of what it will take to defeat the challengers. At one point, they literally use Strong as a battering ram, throwing him into
Undisputed eventually get the upperhand though by taking out Rowe’s legs and keeping him grounded. Strikes, chops, and leg submissions define Undisputed’s strategy, and that makes a lot of sense. If you’re going to have a chance against a couple of giants, you have to chop them down to size first. The hot tag to Hanson regains control for the Raiders though, as he lays out Undisputed with a flurry of back body drops, a massive stomp, and a Bronco Buster that results in the match’s first near fall.
That near fall must scare the hell out of Undisputed, because Adam Cole runs to the ring to try and lend a hand, only to get demolished by Hanson and Rowe. That leaves the win wide open, as Hanson goes on a rampage, laying out every member of Undisputed on the way to delivering the top rope tag team finisher with Rowe. But just as it looks like War Raiders are going to snatch their first NXT titles, a healthy Bobby Fish makes his return and delivers a number of chair shots to both Rowe and Hanson, resulting in a DQ win for the Raiders, but keeping the titles in Undisputed’s grasp. They’ve made their point: they still run this division.
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Next up, it’s a former champ that has a point to prove, as Shayna Baszler takes a break from her intense training regimen while preparing for a rematch with Kairi Sane at Evolution, to return to Full Sail and take on Britt Baker. Baszler immediately gets back to doing what she does best, which is bending competitor’s limbs in directions that shouldn’t be humanly possible. Of course, the Queen of Spades does it all with a smile on her face, seemingly breaking Baker’s arm and forcing the referee to call for an early end to the match. Surely Baszler will have a tougher time against Sane at Evolution, but she’s made her statement. She’s coming to break arms, and she’s coming to take what she believes is her NXT Women’s Championship.
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It’s a night of returns all around. First Bobby Fish, then Baszler in singles action once again, and that’s followed by Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch finally getting another shot in the ring after Lorcan’s injury. It’s their second match back, but first in some time, trying to once again regain the momentum they had before Lorcan was forced to take some time off. This week they face off against the team of Rocky and Tian Bing. That team clearly has a size advantage, and they use it, keeping Lorcan isolated in their corner while they work him into one submission after another. That’s all the offense they get in though, as Lorcan and Burch’s chemistry simply can’t
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Not to be outdone though, it’s the second half of this week’s main event, which sees the secret-holding Nikki Cross go up against Bianca Belair. The two have been in each other’s sights for weeks, and they brawled not all that long ago. So it’s no surprise that their match begins with them throwing fists and immediately taking their business to the outside, where Cross slams Belair into the stairs and takes early control.
It’s almost as if Cross’ intensity takes Belair off guard, but it isn’t long before she snaps out of any complacency and comes at Cross with her own brand of strength and athleticism. She spends a lot of time throwing Cross around the ring with ease and just generally working the ground and pound. For Belair to win she needs to control Cross, and that’s exactly what she does, limiting her opponent’s chaos and making Cross work within her pace.
Call it overconfidence or a rookie mistake, Belair slips up when she takes a little time to gloat on the top rope, allowing Nikki to get her in the Tree of Woe, hit a bunch of stomps, and take control of the match. It’s a moment that only lasts a second though, as Belair hits her with a massive forearm, and the two hit the mat in an exhausted stalemate. When they get to their feet, Belair seems desperate, going for one pin after another and then hitting Cross with a Belair Bomb. None of it works though, and you can see that Belair is panicking, not knowing what it will take to get the win. That’s not something the undefeated Belair has had to deal with, and it clearly rattles her.
Just as the two are getting closer to settling their dispute, the lights go out and the completely unexpected happens: The lights come back on and Aleister Black is sitting in the ring staring at Nikki Cross. Once she registers what’s happening, Cross rolls around laughing as the NXT universe chants “Nikki’s got a secret.” “Tell
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You can watch this week’s NXT on the WWE Network